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New Finds – XII

I keep saying that I want to post at least two posts in this series each year and at least I seem to be posting the first one before the end of the year’s first half. Interestingly, last year’s first one was also on the first Sunday of June, though that meant the 4th then. But that one only included the usual five bands, while this time I’m hoping to get to eight, which would be the most included in such a post so far, if you don’t include those I just happened to mention in passing in a paragraph about one of those I did actually mean to include. This will also give me a chance to get to that goal of 15 bands included in such posts in a year even if I won’t add a third, assuming I’ll somehow add seven in a second. But I never managed 15 in a year so far, so definitely don’t count on that.
Before getting to the bands though, I want to mention another YouTube channel, Metal Bands with Female Voices II, which has full albums. It probably won’t last long, the original one having already been deleted for copyright violations, but at the moment you can have a look. I won’t be linking to anything from there though, sticking to official uploads, and to the usual rule of two songs, preferably from different albums if possible, per band. The bands won’t really be new finds though, since I rather avoided looking lately, not even paying much attention to what I happened to see posted, so I started from one I wanted to include due to being rather stuck, on and off, on a song posted in April, then continued with a Romanian one I also wanted to add, but after that it was a matter of looking through names, searching for countries that I happened to think of, and picking what ended up as being six others. However, it just so happens that two of them have just released new albums, two others released new albums earlier this year, and one is about to release a video, even if for an older song.

That first band I wanted to include is Temperance, and the song I got rather stuck on at various times since it was posted is Broken Promises. As for a pick from an older album, I guess I’ll go with Me, Myself & I, after just going through the few uploaded by that annoying label that makes their bands delete their accounts on sites like Bandcamp, ReverbNation or SoundCloud and the proper songs posted on their YouTube accounts, adding what they want on their own accounts instead. But to go back to the band itself, it’s not actually a new find either, as I seem to remember first stumbling into them years ago, but what I heard at the time made me dismiss them. Definitely changed my opinion now…

The Romanian band I mentioned above is Lion’s Roar, which so far only seems visible at the Romanian Eurovision selection. Their first appearance was last year, with I Set You Free, while this year… You know, I think I’ll go with Nothing in Between, even if people didn’t actually get to hear it, since they had apparently submitted two songs and this one was rejected in the preselection. And I do hope they’ll release some more material and try to make themselves heard again before next year’s Eurovision selection, because they sound quite nice, and while it was a good strategy to make themselves heard the first time, it’s not like they had any success in that selection anyway.

Getting back to Italy, I think it’s been a few years since I first stumbled into Desdæmona, but the name caught my attention again now and I see that they seem about to release a video for Invisible Thread, so I’ll go with that as the first pick, while for the second… Let’s say Shipwreck. Quite an interesting voice there. Probably not something I could get stuck on, but it made me remember them after quite some time. Admittedly, didn’t know why I remembered them, realizing that this was the reason once I started listening, but that should be good enough too, right?

While at some point I seem to have stumbled into another, which has since split up, The Loudest Silence seems to be the only band from Bosnia and Herzegovina that caught my attention at some point and is still active, and Friday they just released their first album. Not much uploaded at the moment, but can definitely recommend listening to The Loudest Silence, even if it does strike me as odd to have a song with the same name as the band when they managed to find a different name for the album. The second pick will have to be Wood Nymph, but I hope there are better songs on that album. Didn’t listen to anything other than what they posted so far, but what I can say is that they seem to have some potential with a certain kind of sound, yet it doesn’t work so well if they try other things.

A band that really seems to be the only one from its country that caught my attention so far is Dream Ocean, from Turkey. That seems somewhat odd, as the music scene should be rich enough over there, but there’s the question of how many sing in English and, either way, I guess I just didn’t happen to stumble into any others that I’d find interesting. So I’ll just look at this one band I know of and pick from the few songs they uploaded, since that’s all I listened to. Guess I’ll go with Forever and Everstorm, as parts of that other one bother me, so wondering which of the sounds is more present on the album in general. Nice voice, so I’d say they should focus more on that and leave out those heavier instrumental parts I noticed there.

The remaining three bands are from Hungary and all of them have been around for quite a while, but while Ideas is well over a decade older than the other two, it may be the one I most recently heard of, close to the end of last year. It seems that they just recently changed their vocalist, and since that happened after releasing their most recent album, what I can listen to and pick from may not quite reflect how they’ll sound now, but I see that they have had other changes in the past as well, albeit long ago, and they only have what they released since the previous change of vocalist on their YouTube channel. Then again, that also means what they released since YouTube was created, and it’s hard enough to pick anyway, so have a look if you’re interested in more. But I’ll stick to the usual rule and, more or less randomly, pick Just Call Me from that most recent album and Hide Your Heart as an older song. And yes, they do have the songs in both Hungarian and English, which seems like quite a lot of work, but I’m obviously only listening to the English versions.

Then there’s Obsidian Shell, which I believe I heard of a few years ago. They also went through a few different vocalists, but I’ll just try to pick one song from their most recent album, released a little more than a week ago, and one more from one of the others. As such, I’ll go with Land of Wonders and Endsequence, but those are songs I preferred after rushing through what’s available and they are a bit different from most others, so feel free to listen to whatever and wherever you want. Not sure how much I like that they have something that sounds like the soundtrack of an old game in their songs, but it does make it interesting. Definitely don’t like the harsh male vocals on what I understand to be the first album with their current vocalist, however, and I’m pleased that they gave up on that idea.

Finally, Dharma is a band I recall adding with mixed feelings, most of what I heard being of a different genre, but I’m quite sure that Dive Deeper is the reason why I ended up adding them after all, so that has to be my first pick. Otherwise, they don’t seem to have uploaded anything from their latest album, and I’m just going through what they have on their YouTube channel, because otherwise it’d be too much again and I’m not sure how much it’d help anyway. To have the second pick from a different album as well, I’ll have to go with One By One. But, again, this is something for those who prefer a genre that’s different from what I’d usually listen to.

For quite a while I didn’t think I was going to finish this post today, and initially posted it with only the first five bands, to be sure I’ll have something here in case there will be any problems, possibly due to the storm that seemed to be coming, then updated it after adding Ideas and Dharma, and then added Obsidian Shell as well, since there was a lot to go through, even while rushing, in order to pick which songs to link to. But now it’s all done, with quite some time to spare before midnight, and I may really have a chance to get to 15 bands included in such posts this year. But, again, not promising anything.

Written by Cavalary on June 3, 2018 at 11:15 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – XI

Leaving the year’s second post in this series very late again, but at least it’s not the very last day again, so it could be worse. It’ll just include the usual five bands, so I’m not only failing that tentative goal of including 15 bands in such posts over the course of a year but also that of at least including more than ten, but this time around the five bands will be from the same country, namely Greece. The one I wanted to start with is from there, a new song that was recently posted meant I was just reminded that I was rather stuck on an older song of the second some time ago yet never included them in such a post, a previous vocalist of said second band led my mind to the third, and having the first three happen to be from the same country made me look for others from there that I had stumbled into over the years, remembering that I actually quite recently heard of the fourth as well. The fifth is somewhat forced, as I had something else in mind and their sound makes me say they’re not something I’d particularly want to include in such a post, but they have an album released this year, so decided to add them and make it five out of five.

That said, the band I mentioned above I knew I wanted to start with is Chrysilia, and that’s because I got really stuck on Desperate Wings when I first bumped into them, a few months ago. With The Menalon Trail being the only other original song they make available at the moment and the rest of their debut album not popping up right away at a quick search, this will be the second pick and it’s a good one as well, but Desperate Wings definitely fixed them in my mind and I found myself coming back to it quite a few times over these past few months, after listening to it many times on repeat at first. Like I already said, don’t know anything about the rest of their debut album, but judging by these, they’re something to keep eyes, and ears, on.

Next is Meden Agan, who have just released No Escape off their upcoming album, scheduled to be released in January. The song that made me keep them in mind is much older, however, and I’m referring to Everlasting Pain. They had a different vocalist then, but they seem to change them every album, since I actually remember them with Iliana as well, though I’m not sure whether that means I first bumped into them that long ago or I just looked up older songs when Everlasting Pain made me pay attention. Both may be true, as in I knew of them already, but only dug around more after getting stuck on that song. Either way, definitely knew of them for years and I’m a bit surprised I didn’t include them in such a post yet.

Since I mentioned Iliana, Enemy of Reality is the obvious next band I’ll list here, though they don’t have an album released this year. They’re not a band I recall paying particular attention to at any point, though I listened to Needle Bites a few times back when they released that video. So I’ll go with that as the first song I’ll link to here, and the more recent In Hiding as the second. Now that I just listened to what they make available, something definitely rubs me the wrong way about their sound, the songs don’t seem to flow, they seem complicated in a way that makes it rather a negative thing, but there are good bits as well, and Iliana definitely has quite a voice. If the “musical differences” that supposedly led to her parting ways with Meden Agan mean that this sound is her preference, I’d personally say it’s quite a pity, but that’s of course a matter of taste.

Moving on, Forbidden Lore is another actual recent find and the two picks are easy because they only have two songs available, Endless Run and Grace in Our Fall. A third song seems to have been included on the EP released last year, and at the time they were apparently all available for free download, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. So there’s little material released so far, but it’s nevertheless enough to show a fair amount of promise.

As for the fifth band, that’s Bare Infinity and you can listen to the album they released this year on Bandcamp. As I already said, not particularly keen on their sound on it, so I’m going to pick Robin’s Eyes to link to, because it’s rather different from the rest, interestingly seeming to be the only song that their vocalist wrote by herself, in which case I’d say she should do that more often. The second pick, on the other hand, is the much older Always Forever Part I, which is the only one they still have on their YouTube channel from back when they had a different vocalist, so I’ll go with it since I’m in a hurry now, despite the poor audio quality. Personally, after quickly listening to some of their other older songs as well, I clearly prefer how they sounded back then, but that’s again a matter of taste.

I guess that’s it, and just barely in time to post before midnight and make it the week’s second post. Once again, the tentative goal for next year for this series of posts is to include 15 bands, likely in three posts, though the option of two longer posts remains as well. Never had three such posts in a year or more than seven bands in one post, which would be required to have 15 in only two, but who knows, maybe 2018 will be when that will happen. I’ll again say that I really should do at least this little, considering how many good or at least decent bands I keep bumping into.

Written by Cavalary on December 24, 2017 at 11:57 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – X

I’ll start this by pointing out a new channel on YouTube called Metal for Your Soul, which already has quite a number of full metal albums from lesser known bands even though the first ones were only uploaded on April 1. Then again, I’m somewhat surprised it’s still there even now, though I guess the low number of views and the fact that the bands are lesser known explains it and may help it avoid removal for quite a while yet. Don’t be surprised if sooner or later the link will end up pointing to a channel that no longer exists though.

Since I mentioned that channel, the first band I’ll list here is Feridea, which is an older find which doesn’t even have new material since 2015, but which I was reminded of after spotting their two EPs there. There’s barely enough material for one full album if you put them together and they changed the vocalist between the two, but it’s good stuff, perhaps on Into a Dawn in particular, so I’d recommend at least listening to all four songs on that one, which you can find on their YouTube channel. The songs from Reborn in Time aren’t there, but they are on their SoundCloud page. Still, if I’m to stick to the usual pattern of picking two songs per band, I’ll go with Of Magic and Music and… Let’s say Song of a Longing Heart?

The second band I’ll point out today, Vandroya, is both an old and a new find. How does that work? Well, I’m sure I first stumbled into them years ago and Why Should We Say Goodbye? is actually I song I occasionally looked up to listen to again, usually getting pretty stuck on it once again when I did, but when I wanted to check whether their entry on my list also had the proper links after they started being shared again recently due to the launch of Beyond the Human Mind, I noticed that I didn’t have an entry for them at all, so I must have simply forgotten to add them there the first time around. Either way, I didn’t listen to all the songs on this second album yet, but let’s go with You’ll Know My Name out of what I could find. Rather too much focus on the guitars and those solos still bother me, that song actually being particularly plagued by this, but some enjoy this and she sure has a great, powerful voice.

An actual new find is Last Performance, who just released their first album. That sure is an odd choice for a name, but good voice, good sound, so I sure hope they’re not referring to themselves with it. One problem is that they don’t seem keen on posting or sharing much, be it information or songs, even the fact that at least most of the album is on Bandcamp not meaning much when they severely restrict the number of times you can listen to the songs. That sure is an infuriating feature of Bandcamp, by the way, and I’m not going to pick what to share from there when I’m hit with it. As such, I’m limited to what I can find on YouTube, which at the moment is Under Cover of Darkness and End of Pretense. No complaints, however, since they’re definitely good enough for the two picks.

AfterTime is a band I know I wanted to add before, but can’t remember whether that means I first stumbled into them last year, before writing the previous post in this series, or one of the times when I previously thought about writing this post this year was shortly after discovering them and I clearly had them in mind while trying to decide what to include in it. Either way, you can choose between YouTube and Bandcamp to listen to their songs, and I’ll go with All the Ruins Remain and World We’ve Lost as my two picks. Was more impressed with them at first, now I’m less convinced by her voice and not so keen on the sound of some of their other songs, but it remains a good effort and a good direction, and they seem to be improving, at least in my opinion.

As for Walk in Darkness, it was a rather random pick, but I do believe it is also a new enough find. They released their first album earlier this year and you can listen to all of it on Bandcamp, but I guess I’ll go with Carthage and Alexandria as my picks, the latter featuring the voice of Magdalena Lee, whose Tears of Magdalena I mentioned, albeit grudgingly, way back in the third “New Finds” post. Either way, being a rather random pick, it’s not something that exactly impressed or stuck in my mind, but it can be interesting enough, depending on taste.

And that’s about it for now. First post in this series this year, including the regular five bands, so no chance of getting to that target of 15 in only two posts. Whether 2017 will be the first year during which I’ll manage to post three remains to be seen, but there’s a lot of time left, so there’s reason to hope. And considering the number of bands I know of, a fair part of them at least good, some even outstanding, I really should be trying more.

Written by Cavalary on June 4, 2017 at 7:54 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – IX

At least I’m not leaving this for the last day of the year, like I did last year. Was saying then that I’ll try to either write three regular posts or two bigger ones in this series in 2016, so there will be 15 bands in total, but that’s definitely not happening. However, after stumbling into a new one after making the initial selection for this post last night and then also remembering another one I was quite stuck on earlier this year yet didn’t include in the previous post, I’m trying to squeeze seven instead of five in this one, so there will at least be 12 bands included in such posts this year.

The new band I stumbled into last night is Crystal Gates, so I’m starting with it. Little choice in what to share, but The Soul of Rain and Wild Sons of the Earth are on the official YouTube channel and I definitely have no problem using them as the two picks. Didn’t look for anything else and really don’t know anything more about them, so little to say other than that, except that they seem to be the first band from Uruguay that I happened to stumble into and find interesting.

The band I initially meant to start this post with was DragonHarp, which was the last one added to the list before Crystal Gates. Despite their advertised use of the harp, I’d say it sounds pretty much like what you’d expect, or at least like what I’d expect, from Italian power metal, the fact that it’s female-fronted and also the obvious accent reminding me more specifically of Ancient Bards, so something I passed on at other times, but I added this one to the list and now I’m adding it here as well. You can just listen to their EP if you want, but to stick to the usual rule of two picks, let’s say the title song, Let the Dragon Fly, and Ironfield.

And then there’s Stonelight, which is the Romanian band I meant to start with when I first seriously intended to write this ninth post from this series, over a month ago. From what I know, it’s formed of the main members of Fortress of Faith, who took a break of a few years and then returned alongside a few others as Stonelight back in 2013, before launching their first album last month. And around that time I found myself quite stuck on Insanity, which they also made a video for, so that’s clearly the first pick. The second’s harder, but how about the one that at this particular moment is not also on their official YouTube channel, namely The Fallen?

Speaking of recent releases, Daedric Tales should have released Cult of Ashes on December 12, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Either way, it’s rather unexpected to see a band named after and completely inspired by The Elder Scrolls existing for quite a number of years already and seeming to become more solid as time passes, seeing as they plan to release a full album in February. That series definitely provides a whole lot of material to use though, and they sound interesting enough, so you could listen to the title song of this EP which should have been released this week. And to also add something older, guess I’ll go with The Dragonborn as second pick.

The band I was saying I was rather stuck on at some point earlier this year is Circle Unbroken. More specifically, I was really stuck on their first song, Portrait, so if you can listen to a single song from this post, I’d recommend this one. That may have changed if I could have found the studio version of City Lost, but since I couldn’t I’ll leave that recommendation as it is and add this one as well by doing something I usually avoid, and that’s link to a live recording of it as my second pick. Good sound, good voice, definitely a band to keep eyes, and ears, on.

Next is an older band that’s of a somewhat different genre and not female-fronted either, but I saw the name on the poster for a festival from here a while back, found myself looking them up and finding some interesting songs, so on the list they went and now here they are. I’m talking of The Foreshadowing and I must say I didn’t listen to that many of their songs yet, but out of what I did listen to, let’s go with the older Death Is Our Freedom and the new Two Horizons.

The last band I’ll add here is Wishmasters, which I noticed was still on my list though I should have removed it when it rather accidentally “graduated” off it quite some time ago, so said might as well even though they released no new material that I’m aware of for the past couple of years. As the name suggests, they started as a tribute band, but then decided to grow past that level and they have what it takes for it, though the spoken parts they included in some songs are dreadful. Other than that, quite like most songs, but I’m limited in what I can find to share, so let’s go with Sanctuary and Back to London.

Once again, this took a while, even if I had it mostly planned since last night. But I could post it with hours to spare and it did include seven instead of the usual five bands, so it’s definitely good enough. Obviously, there will be no other such post before the end of the year, but I’ll once again say I’m hoping to add either three regular ones or two long ones, for a total of 15 bands, in 2017. My lists will obviously grow with far more than that anyway, and in plenty of cases it’s quite a pity to discover good bands, maybe even get stuck on some for a few days or even a week, then move on to something else and pretty much forget all about them without even pointing them out to others in this small way.

Written by Cavalary on December 18, 2016 at 9:29 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – VIII

At the end of the previous post from this series, written on the last day of 2015, I was saying I’ll set a clear goal for two more in 2016, and a tentative one for either three regular ones or two bigger ones, to include a total of at least 15 bands. However, it’s the second half of September and this is only the first, so we’ll see about even managing a second before the end of the year. And I’m hoping to finish this tonight, so no way I’ll include more than the regular five bands, even if it was quite easy to select that many as I glanced through the list.

Decided to go alphabetically this time around, so I’ll start with Aeternitas, definitely brought back to my attention these days thanks to Madeline, which I got rather stuck on. I had initially added them to the list probably over two years ago, judging by the upload date of Ethelred, since that’s the first song of theirs that I heard and apparently the first one that could have caught my attention, since their first three albums, released between 2000 and 2009, were in German, this song marking their switch to English. And now their first English album is about to be released next month, and if Madeline is anything to judge by, I have reasons to hope it’ll be a good one.

Next comes a Romanian band, Between Colors. Now I’ll readily admit they’re not something I’d actually listen to, the sound being rather too harsh for my liking, and I’d have probably dismissed them if they wouldn’t have been from here, but as it is and considering the low number of active Romanian bands that caught my attention in any way and that they’ll release their first album in November, let’s say I’m adding them here as encouragement. Sadly, though they actually list themselves as melodic metal, they don’t fit my definition of the term, seeing as for me that requires a lack of growls and they’re actually struggling to include some, which you can notice for just a couple of moments even on the older and softer Ghost Dance, which was probably the song that initially made me think I could hope for something more to my liking from them. However, Dark Side sure seems to indicate that they’re heading in the opposite direction.

Moving on, Imperial Age is a band I randomly stumbled into when YouTube happened to recommend the live version of Turn the Sun Off! to me and I clicked that link. Now I normally avoid linking to live performances, but I was completely stuck on this, the sound is definitely not a problem and this is in fact the proper version of the song, which was also included on their second album, which I’d actually consider their first proper one. Did try to listen to the original version of the song and to the first album as a whole, but I’d advise others to stay away from that, since I gather it was a one-person affair that’s quite worthless in my opinion. However, following the model of Therion, which they actually receive a lot of direct support from, other musicians were later gathered to fill the available positions and, while they may and do get changed, the end result at that point sure was awesome. That said, the second song I’ll link to will be another live version from that same concert: Aryavarta.

An actual recent find is Reagal, who are about to successfully crowdfund their first album after finding their way through some very difficult times. Admittedly, that success is largely due to the low target, of only £1100, and a few generous donors, but if they’ll manage with what at the moment, three days before the deadline, is 125% of that amount, good for them. Meanwhile, they seem to have plenty of gigs and also sing a fair number of covers, but The Flames and Wild Heart are their songs that are properly recorded and available at the moment and they definitely show a lot of promise.

And now allow me to finish this post with Trees of Eternity. Apparently first stumbled into them three years and a few days ago, seeing as that’s when I shared A Million Tears, and last month they announced that their album will finally be released in November, more than half a year after Aleah’s death. It’s a tragic story I don’t know enough about to say more, and it wouldn’t be my place to do so even if I did. As such, I will limit myself to simply sharing the other two songs officially available, Sinking Ships and Broken Mirror, and leaving it at that. Enjoy the music and, if you will, spare a good thought for her and those she left behind.

Guess that’s it, and I have to say at one point I was beginning to wonder whether I’ll manage to post this tonight after all, since it took quite a while. But here it is, and now let’s see how I’ll manage to post at least one more of these before the end of this year. There’s absolutely no chance I’ll post one including ten bands, so that idea of 15 bands included in such posts this year even if there will only be two of them is definitely abandoned, but I guess it’s not entirely impossible that I’ll have two more such posts by the end of the year. It is highly unlikely, however.

Written by Cavalary on September 18, 2016 at 3:58 AM in Music | 0 Comments